Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

No sexpo please, we're Hamiltonians

Porn king Steve Crow has been denied permission to hold his Erotica Expo at Hamilton's Claudelands Event Centre. Photo / Greg Bowker
Porn king Steve Crow has been denied permission to hold his Erotica Expo at Hamilton's Claudelands Event Centre. Photo / Greg Bowker

There will be no sex expo in Hamilton under the current council's watch.

All but one Hamilton City councillor at yesterday's strategy and policy meeting voted against hosting the R18 event at the new Claudelands Event Centre in March, amid accusations of trying to win votes after the V8 debacle cost the city almost $40 million.

Councillor Ewan Wilson was the lone supporter of pornographer Steve Crow's Erotica show being held at the council-owned centre.

"I don't believe it's our job to act as moral policeman. I think my colleagues are running scared. They are trying to appease a certain voting segment and ignoring the fact that this event is in a defined area when one has to pay, and has an age restriction."

Mr Wilson questioned what the council would ban next. "Are we going to ban Puppetry of the Penis next time it goes to Founders Theatre and are we going to ban nudist art in our museum?"

But councillor Dave Macpherson said it wasn't something the city wanted or needed.

"And my observation is most of the city doesn't want it either. The city is not required to open its doors to anything and everything.

"Plus the whole sexpo is just designed to make money out of exploiting women. It has no redeeming features."

Mr Macpherson said the council had to draw the line somewhere despite Claudelands' struggle to meet its financial targets.

"What if the Nazis came along and wanted to hold a rally and promised us $50,000 - would we do that?"

On hearing the news, Mr Crow said it would be a decision the council would rue and he would not let them off the hook "that easily".

"Hamilton City Council are throwing away their money and I'm going to have a lot of fun with them over this.

"I hope Hamilton ratepayers are really happy to fund a council that turns down revenue on a loss-making centre. I hope they consider that at the next election and vote these idiots out."

Staff decided to let councillors make the final decision because of the sex expo's potential moral impact on the community.

Councillors voted nine against and one for the event. Mayor Julie Hardaker and councillors Daphne Bell and John Gower were not present for the debate.

- NZ Herald

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